It’s a traditional American dessert with Native American roots. The English, craving the sweetened porridge they called hasty pudding, began using Native American cornmeal to create a version sweetened with milk and molasses. This is a silky-smooth, creamy baked custard.
6 cups whole milk
½ cup unsalted butter
3 eggs, beaten
½ cup molasses
⅓ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
½ cup yellow cornmeal
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried cranberries
Vanilla ice cream, for serving, optional
Fresh cranberries, for garnish, optional
- Preheat the oven to 300°. Into a heavy-bottom pot over medium heat, pour the milk and butter and bring to a rapid simmer.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, molasses, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In another bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, and salt.
- Once the milk and butter come to a rapid simmer, remove from the heat and slowly whisk into the bowl with the eggs. (If you add the hot milk all at once, the eggs will curdle.)
- After the milk and butter are incorporated into the egg mixture, whisk in the flour-cornmeal mixture. Stir in the dried cranberries.
- Pour the mixture into a 12-inch round baking dish or pan. (If you prefer using a water bath during the baking process, set the baking dish into a larger ovenproof pan and pour hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish.) Bake until cooked through, about 90 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve warm with ice cream and/or fresh cranberries, if desired.